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Fixtures

Frisking the Fixtures – Gameweek 16 – The Strong

With three Gameweeks having taken place since we last assessed the fixture schedules, now is an opportune time to take stock ahead of a frankly ridiculously busy period.

An array of teams are affected by an uneven home and away split over the next six Gameweeks, meaning that five are treated to home comforts on four occasions.

Liverpool look to be the team most likely to exploit that particular Christmas gift, though, as we’ve seen of late, Fantasy managers will likely have to navigate Jurgen Klopp’s rotation policy to cash in.

Here’s our full analysis of the teams treated to favourable festive schedules based on the next six Gameweeks, including a view on where their fixtures turn and how we can attempt to profit.

Watford

(bur cry HUD bha LEI SWA)
The Prospects – Goals
The Hornets face a serene run over the next six Gameweeks, avoiding the current top six.

There may be some early joy in the first two away matches, given the form of Marco Silva’s side on their travels.

Burnley have been resolute at home, however, conceding just three goals, while Crystal Palace have registered back-to-back clean sheets, ensuring that they will test Silva’s buccaneering attack.

The home meeting with Huddersfield Town in Gameweek 18 is very favourable, though, with the Terriers having lost their last five away matches, conceding 16 goals.

The trip to Brighton & Hove Albion that follows should also offer the opportunity for attacking returns. Following the chastening defeat to Liverpool, the Seagulls have conceded 12 goals at the Amex Stadium, with their resilience under real scrutiny now that the fixtures are arriving at pace.

The back-to-back home encounters in Gameweeks 20 and 21 against Leicester City and Swansea City also look promising. Only two sides (Burnley and West Ham) have conceded more shots in away matches than that pair.

The Prospects – Clean Sheets
Saturday’s trip to Burnley could be profitable for the Watford defence: only Swansea (four) have scored fewer home goals than Sean Dyche’s men (five).

The Gameweek 17 encounter at Palace will provide a test, with Roy Hodgson’s side beginning to find some confidence. However, they have blanked in their last two matches, and Christian Benteke is still yet to find a semblance of form since his return from injury.

The home meeting with Huddersfield is as good as it gets from a defensive perspective: The Terriers are without a goal on their travels since Gameweek 1.

Brighton’s struggles in front of goal make the Gameweek 19 fixture a reasonable one, while the home matches against Leicester and particularly Swansea that follow, also have the potential for shut-outs.

Statistically, the Foxes are yet to convince under Claude Puel – only Everton (27) have fired fewer shots over the last four Gameweeks. Meanwhile, the Swans’ impotent attack is summed up by just a single big chance from their last four outings.

The Turning Point
The Gameweek 22 trip to Manchester City is the only major test in Watford’s next ten matches, with the schedule remaining relatively kind all the way through to Gameweek 30.

Verdict
With an impressive nine bonus points to his name, and currently playing as a wing-back, Kiko Femenia looks the stand-out option from the Watford defence.

Further forward, Richarlison looks unshakable as a mid-price midfielder, with his underlying statistics still impressive despite successive blanks. Beyond this, further investment could be overkill, though Abdoulaye Doucoure remains a fourth midfielder option.

Chelsea

(whu hud SOT eve BHA STK)
The Prospects – Goals
This stretch in Chelsea’s fixture list has been long awaited in these parts, and they look set to reward major investment.

Up first are trips to West Ham United and Huddersfield.

Both appear extremely favourable, given that the Hammers have allowed 11 goals in their last five at home, while no team has conceded more goals (13) or given up more big chances (14) than David Wagner’s side over the last four.

The Blues then host Southampton who are without a clean sheet away from St Mary’s since Gameweek 5, with nine goals shipped in their last six away trips.

The clash to Everton could pose more of a test, however. The Toffees are strong at Goodison Park and have recorded back-to-back clean sheets. The “Sam Allardyce effect” could be in full swing by this point, ensuring that the Everton defence will be a tougher proposition.

This period ends with home matches against Brighton and Stoke City in Gameweeks 20 and 21.

The Seagulls have been solid on their travels and will take heart from their recent trip to Old Trafford, though a gruelling festive period may well have taken its toll by Boxing Day. Meanwhile, Stoke have managed just two clean sheets and have conceded 30 goals, including 11 from their last four away trips. It remains to be seen if their defensive stability will improve by the end of this month.

The Prospects – Clean Sheets
The short-term fixtures offer the immediate prospect of defensive returns. West Ham have only scored twice in four matches since David Moyes took charge, while Huddersfield have netted just once and created one big chance over the last four Gameweeks.

The Stamford Bridge encounter with Southampton could make it a hat-trick of shut-outs. A total of five goals from seven away trips is hardly prolific, and they have just six shots on target from the last four away trips – no side have recorded fewer.

Everton’s recent turnaround could make the Gameweek 19 clash more of a test; their form at Goodison Park will stretch Antonio Conte’s defence.

But the home fixtures against Brighton and Stoke in Gameweeks 20 and 21 are again obvious sources of clean sheet returns.

The Turning Point
The Gameweek 22 trip to Arsenal is the only major test all the way through to Gameweek 28. Chelsea face Manchester United at that point, before returning to face Manchester City a week later in a pivotal double-header.

Verdict
Given the schedule, there looks every reason to use all three of our Chelsea slots, with the fear of rotation the only potential drawback.

Premium options Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta and the more budget-friendly Thibaut Courtois and Andreas Christensen all appear viable options at the back.

The form of Eden Hazard pushes the Belgian near the “must have” bracket, while Alvaro Morata is surely the stand-out premium forward option at present.

Liverpool

(EVE WBA bou ars SWA LEI)
The Prospects – Goals
The fact that Jurgen Klopp’s side enjoy four home matches in the next six may actually bring more defensive returns than goals. Liverpool have scored 13 times at Anfield, compared with 20 goals on the road.

But back-to-back home matches with Everton and West Bromwich Albion should provide some early joy. The Toffees could be a different prospect under Allardyce, while the derby is always an unpredictable fixture. However, Everton are conceding more than two goals per game in away matches (16 from seven).

Meanwhile, West Brom’s defence has given up opportunities of late: they’ve conceded 60 shots from their last four Gameweeks, only two sides have shipped more.

Liverpool then travel to take on Bournemouth and Arsenal in Gameweeks 18 and 19 for match-ups that will provide sterner tests.

No team has conceded fewer big chances than the Cherries (two) over the last four Gameweeks, while Arsenal have produced five shut-outs at the Emirates. However, Manchester United’s 3-1 victory in Gameweek 15 offers encouragement, as does Liverpool’s 4-3 win in north London last season.

Swansea and Leicester then visit Anfield in Gameweeks 20 and 21 to provide match-ups that will be expected to provide victories and goals.

The Swans have defended bravely on the road this season but have allowed 145 shots in away matches, only two teams have shipped more.

The Prospects – Clean Sheets
Anfield encounters always look favourable in terms of clean sheets, with Klopp’s rearguard excelling on home turf. They have conceded just twice, keeping five shut-outs from seven matches.

The next two visitors – Everton and West Brom – may not have the weaponry to dent that record, they have produced just five and four goals respectively in away matches.

Away trips to Bournemouth and Arsenal follow in Gameweeks 18 and 19, and given Liverpool’s generally disappointing defensive performances on the road, the appear to be testing fixtures.

However, Eddie Howe’s men have failed to score in three home fixtures, and Klopp will seek a second away clean sheet of the season in that one. Arsenal have to be fancied to register on home turf, however.

The next two Anfield encounters that follow – with Swansea and Leicester – again look very favourable. No team has scored fewer goals (eight) than the Swans, while as mentioned earlier, Leicester’s recent goal scoring form under Puel perhaps flatters them somewhat.

The Turning Point
The Reds face a trickier spell between Gameweeks 22 and 25, with a trip to Burnley and home meetings with Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur bringing an end to their obliging run.

Verdict
Mohamed Salah will remain a constant in our 15-man squads over this period, with Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino also presenting extremely viable options to double and even treble on their attack. Certainly Coutinho’s hat-trick in Wednesday’s Champions League tie with Spartak, together with the suggestion that he could now be assigned penalties, could be a game-changer.

However, the four home fixtures also promote investment in the defence, with Alberto Moreno perhaps still the optimum candidate on offer once we have reassurance on his ankle injury sustained in last night’s tie.

Also consider…

Arsenal
The fact that only two of their next six are at the Emirates – with one of those match-ups against Liverpool – could be a concern during this period, particularly for those managers holding or considering an Arsenal defender. Only two of their seven clean sheets have come away from home this season.

Nonetheless, Wenger’s attack remains potent, scoring nine over the last four Gameweeks. Trips to Southampton, West Ham, Crystal Palace and West Brom will be tests, but Arsenal will be expected to find goals each time.

Aaron Ramsey looks a likely target given his recent output and affordable price tag, while Alexandre Lacazette could also profit from those away matches after upping his form on the road – he’s scored in two of his last three away appearances.

Manchester United
Once the derby clash is out of the way, Man United assets have to be back under serious consideration based on their schedule up to Gameweek 25.

However, they do face some banana skin fixtures – notably against Burnley (twice), plus trips to Leicester and Everton who are both under new managers.

Back in training, Phil Jones could soon be a factor once again, although rotation will remain a major concern through the congested festive period, given his injury history.

In attack, Romelu Lukaku’s recent struggles mean it may require a big haul from the Belgian to convince Fantasy managers to reinvest. Paul Pogba’s return from suspension for Gameweek 19 also looks vital before we start to re-assess Jose Mourinho’s charges.

Manchester City
Like their Manchester rivals, once Sunday’s Old Trafford encounter has passed, the route through to 2018 looks smooth enough.

They face just two in six at the Etihad Stadium, although that is not necessarily a bad thing given how recent home opponents have found some success by shutting up shop. Indeed, the away fixtures (swa new cry) look very profitable.

Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Otamendi remain the stand-out options, though any of City’s regular starters in attack could potentially break out over the next few weeks, with Pep Guardiola’s almost certain to keep us guessing with his teamsheet.

Huddersfield Town
The Terriers emerge from their evil spell to be treated to four in six (BHA CHE wat sot STK BUR) at the John Smith’s Stadium.

However, resources will surely remain stretched over this period, which may ensure that their appeal is limited.

Jonas Lossl and Christopher Schindler could be options if they can use this spell to rediscover some resilience – Wagner’s backline have produced just one clean sheet from the last nine Gameweeks.

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637 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Mateja
    5 days, 15 hours ago

    Ederson(Elliot)
    Kiko-Daniels-Cristansen(Mee,3.9)
    Richarlison-RLC-Salah-Hazard
    Kane-Morata
    0.7 itb and 2 fts
    Could benching sterling be smart move?
    Daniels last game in my team(hoping for a goal/asist)
    🙂

    1. Mateja
      5 days, 15 hours ago

      Whats the best way to use 1 ft or even 2 if it is good move

    2. Natkhat Chokra
      5 days, 15 hours ago

      Why would you bench Sterling?

      1. Mateja
        5 days, 15 hours ago

        Because im betting that it will be max 1 goal

  2. Jacky boy
    5 days, 15 hours ago

    Any Will hughes injury news?

  3. vinniebolton
    5 days, 15 hours ago

    Bench

    RLC
    C Wilson
    Gross

  4. RAFA THE GAFFA
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    5 days, 15 hours ago

    Good to go?

    Fabianski
    Otamendi • Christensen • Kiko F
    Salah • Richarlison • Hazard • (C)outinho • Loftus-Cheek
    Kane • Morata
    (Elliot / Duffy / Ward / DCL)

    1. Weasel51
      5 days, 15 hours ago

      I'd have Salah (C), close one though!

    2. Natkhat Chokra
      5 days, 15 hours ago

      Like the look of (C)outinho, pretty tasty.

  5. Natkhat Chokra
    5 days, 15 hours ago

    Is it mad to play triple Burnley defence this week? Have Pope, Mee and Tarkowski; looking to play all 3 of them along with Kiko.

    1. RAFA THE GAFFA
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      5 days, 15 hours ago

      Not for me. Think Wat wil score

      1. Natkhat Chokra
        5 days, 15 hours ago

        Don't you think Burnley have been pretty solid defensively so far?

        Bar the last minute penalty conceded against Arsenal and the Pope error which led to the Leicester goal.

    2. GoonerByron
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      5 days, 15 hours ago

      I'm probably not even starting the 1 I have..

      1. Natkhat Chokra
        5 days, 15 hours ago

        Oops

    3. FPL Virgin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      5 days, 15 hours ago

      Not that mad. Burnley very strong at home. Have only conceded 3 goals, I think it is.

      1. Natkhat Chokra
        5 days, 15 hours ago

        Cheers

  6. Weasel51
    5 days, 15 hours ago

    Fuchs + Moreno > Christensen + Marriap -4

    Worth a hit??

    1. FC Hakkebøf (FC Chop…
      5 days, 12 hours ago

      Nope as Mariappa is not nailed on

  7. Colonel Shoe 肝池
    5 days, 15 hours ago

    coutinho fever this week

  8. Sancidino
    5 days, 15 hours ago

    Jesus and Daniel to Morata and Zeeg/Femenía for -4?

  9. pol
    5 days, 14 hours ago

    A- Moreno > Kiko
    B- sane > ramsey
    C- both for -4

  10. seanie3
    5 days, 14 hours ago

    Do we think that crouch will keep his place in the lineup now, they have 3 great fixtures over xmas..

    1. seanie3
      5 days, 14 hours ago

      sorry leading up to xmas... 16th onwards WHU, WBA, hud

  11. gellinmagellan
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    5 days, 14 hours ago

    2 FTs and 0.4 ITB.

    *Plan A* with -4 this week and FT next week

    Davies> Otamendi

    Azpi> Christensen

    Choupo-Moting>Ramsey

    Wilson> DCL

    *Plan B* with -4 this week

    Davies > Gomez

    Maguire > Femina

    Choupo Moting > Ramsey

    1. fattfattygavgav
      5 days, 13 hours ago

      Plan A looks good

  12. FantasyFooty01
    5 days, 13 hours ago

    I’m into week 8 of Last Man Standing and have pick all of top 6 and Everton who should I go for?

  13. Lukakkkkkuuuuu
    5 days, 12 hours ago

    Courtois
    Mee Dunk Mustafi Azpi Francis
    Salah Hazard Gray
    Kane Benteke

    Elliot Silva Moting Ladopo

    1 FT
    2.3 ITB

    A. Moting to Ramsey
    B. Moting to Richarlison
    C. Save
    D. Something else, please suggest!

  14. Blens
    5 days, 9 hours ago

    Gents, what do you think on this merry lot

    Elliott Speroni
    Otamendi Mariappa Mee Alex-Arnold Cranie
    Salah Hazard Sane Loftus-Cheek Cork
    Kane Morata Callum-Wilson
    2FT 1ITB

    Any changes?
    What about..
    1) Mariappa to Kiko or Zeeg
    2) Sane to Stirling or Cout
    3) Other

    Please help

  15. Whits
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    5 days, 9 hours ago

    Hi all. I'm at a loss with how to best use my 2 FT and £2m itb. Was thinking Naughton and Brady to Richarlison and Sakho but that leaves me no extra funds to address Niasse if he doesnt play, unless I stick to 3-5-2 or 4-4-2 going forward. Also thinking Niasse and Brady to Benteke and a 4.9 MF is an option. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Cheers

    My team is:

    Fabianski / Elliot

    Mbemba / Mee / Kolasinac / Otemendi/ Naughton

    Salah / Hazard / Sterling / Brady / Loftus-Cheek

    Kane / Morata/ Niasse

  16. konrad.sygula95
    5 days, 8 hours ago

    Would you do D.Silva to Ramsey/Richarlison? ( that would leave me without a single man city player.)

  17. Millie7
    4 days, 14 hours ago

    best goalkeeper to match up with foster?

  18. Millie7
    4 days, 14 hours ago

    would you have morata or aguero this week?

  19. kevos83
    4 days, 7 hours ago

    Thinking of upgrading in gross to Coutinho
    And downgrading Jesus to another striker.
    I'll have 7.5m to do so. I'm thinking Chris Wood (6.4) for the time being any thoughts much appreciated.

  20. Pariße
    1 day, 8 hours ago

    Name the better pair.
    A) Austin & Femenia (Kabasele, Tarkowski or Duffy)
    B) Calvert-Lewin & Smalling